If you aren’t getting a creepy totalitarian vibe from Donald Trump by now, then you aren’t paying attention. Here he is on This Week with George Stephanopolous saying that Ted Cruz is “nasty guy” – but more than saying that Cruz is a “nasty guy,” he is claiming that he always knew Ted Cruz was a “nasty guy.” Bizarrely, he also claims that the fact that Ted Cruz is disliked by Republicans in Congress is evidence that Cruz is bad news. Who knew that Donald Trump was such a fan of Mitch McConnell?
Stephanopolous: On this issue of New York Values, he lumped you in yesterday with Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Bill de Blasio and said he apologizes to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians.
Trump: Look, the truth is that he’s a nasty guy, he was so nice to me, I mean, I knew it, I was watching, I kept saying, “Come on, Ted, Let’s go, Ted,” but he’s a nasty guy, nobody likes him, nobody in Congress likes him, nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him, a very, um, he’s got an edge that’s not good, you can’t make deals with people like that. And it’s not a good thing, it’s not a good thing for the country. Very nasty guy.
Trump is such a buffoon. It’s not enough for him to claim that he’s learned or come to understand that Ted Cruz is a “nasty guy,” because that would of course disturb his aura of being an all knowing and all powerful authoritarian figure. He has to say that he’s known all along that Ted Cruz was a “nasty guy” and that he’s been playing along with it because… well, that part is never made clear.
This is straight up totalitarian behavior right out of the book 1984. It’s not enough for Trump to say that he is currently at war with Ted Cruz, he must assert that he has always been at war with Ted Cruz.
This is not at all the first time Trump has done this with someone he has turned on. Trump recently got into a war with New Hampshire Union-Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid after the Union-Leader endorsed Christie. Trump’s specific allegation is that he was angry that McQuaid had asked him to tweet something in favor of Christie being on the debate stage, which he had done, only to have McQuaid stab him in the back by endorsing Christie.
But note specifically what Trump said, which was that he knew all along that McQuaid was bad news and would likely double cross him:
Ah, he said, a strange one, you know, @realdonaldtrump, so I have millions and millions of followers, especially when you add Facebook. It’s like 5 and a half, 5.6 million for Twitter, over five million for Facebook, Instagram, it’s like 11 million people, and I said, what is it? He (McQuaid) said, would you do me a favor? This is a few weeks ago. Chris Christie did not make the main stage. I would like you to tweet that Chris Christie SHOULD be on the main debate stage. I said, but Joe, he didn’t make it because he didn’t make it. You know, you have to go through, you have to get a certain number of points in the polls. Well, he didn’t make it but he should be there and it’s not fair, would you tweet. So I said I’ll tweet. I figured, what are you gonna do, I’m gonna be nice. But I knew immediately he was going to endorse Chris Christie. But can you imagine a guy calling me up, knowing he’s going to endorse a guy, asking me to use my twitter to put him in? And other than that, I mean, the guy’s bad news, okay. He’s not a talented guy.
Now, a reasonable person who was not in the thrall of a would-be truth-altering totalitarian might ask why Trump would have acquiesced to McQuaid’s request, if he knew all along that McQuaid was going to stab him in the back, but instead, Trump’s supporters offer him applause as though they actually believe this.
Of course, this is an ongoing pattern with Trump, who has spent his entire life being snookered by people and misjudging their political worth (including, notably, the Clintons). However, since his ability to judge and read people is basically the only thing he is running on, he can never admit that he’s repeatedly made mistakes in judging people – and not only that, that he’s repeatedly made public pronouncements that people were great only to later discover they were worthless.
So in order to cover up this embarrassing failure he has to read people properly, he goes out there and tell his supporters that the whole time he was praising the Clintons, or Joseph McQuaid, or Ted Cruz, or whoever, that he always knew that old-so-and-so was worthless and he was just waiting for them to show themselves.
Never does he explain to his supporters why he lied to them in public by saying that he liked and respected Ted Cruz (or Hillary Clinton, or whoever), or why they should believe him now when he says, for instance, that Carl Icahn is great. At some point presumably, he and Icahn will have a falling out and on that day, Trump will come out and announce to his cheering throng that he knew Carl Icahn was no good from day one, and his supporters will cheer him for having been able to see everything so clearly.
Donald Trump has always been at war with whoever he is currently at war with. And all the citizens of Oceania know it and are thankful to Trump for his wisdom and foresight.